TRIBUTES will be paid to MP Jo Cox ahead of the Heavy Woollen Championship Derby between Batley and Dewsbury on Sunday.
Rugby league fan Bernard Kenny, who heroically tried to save Mrs Cox during the tragic events of last Thursday, will be guest of honour at the game alongside his family.
The match will take place at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium and will be preceded by the hymm ‘Abide With Me’, performed without music by Paul Egan.
There will also be a commemorative programme available for fans to buy, the proceeds of which will be donated to charities supported by Mrs Cox. Batley Bulldogs are hoping to raise £2,000 in total.
Also before kick-off Batley and Dewsbury chairmen Kevin Nicholas and Mark Sawyer respectively, along with Mr Kenny, players and other dignitaries will in turn place sunflowers in the centre of the pitch.
The Bulldogs cheerleaders will then put the Sunflowers in the memorial garden after a minute’s silence.
And on the weekend of Armed Forces Day, the Yorkshire Regiment will be at the game with a live band and activities for children behind the Glen Tomlinson Stand.
Nicholas said: “The supporters, players and officials of both Dewsbury and ourselves are huge rivals on the pitch and nothing will change in this important game.
“However, we are all united both as rugby league people and Heavy Woollen District friends.
“We hope we can all come together and demonstrate how proud we are of one of our own in Jo Cox and also the pride we have for the bravery of Bernard Kenny.
“We understand the sunflower was a favourite flower of Jo and it is also appropriate for her and a celebration of her life as anyone who ever met her will know that with her infectious smile and unbounding energy and enthusiasm for life, she could not fail to brighten anyone’s day.
“It is a very sad occasion but we also wish to highlight the joy and goodness she brought to our community.”